Analytical tools techniques list

Ask the right questions in the right way

Before you do anything make you sure you are asking the right questions. The content is one thing but also the the format. This is our list of analytical tools and techniques

  • Avoid a yes/no question. We find a client does not appreciate a question and answer like this: Question – Does competitor A require a user to have a wallet on their platform? Answer – No
  • Would a non expert understand the question?
  • Summarise the question in one sentence of no more than three lines with only one dependent clause.
  • Make sure the question is inclusive – broad enough to cover what we think we’ll need to cover, but narrow enough to provide a useful answer?
  • Does the question meet the decision maker’s needs?

Before starting the analysis

Firstly, you must understand where you are going to start. And there a number of tools for this:

  • Issue Redefinition
  • Chronologies and Timelines
  • Sorting
  • Ranking, Scoring, Prioritising

Interestingly, traffic analysis is an excellent tool to find out who is talking to who in your market and competitors. As you know, people tend to interact with certain people and organisations for a reason. You may not know what they are saying but you will be able to build a very interesting picture.

Then you should really understand what you need to know to solve the problem. Try defining:

  • Whats the problem?
  • What’s the decision maker trying to accomplish.
  • What’s the goal?
  • Who is the decision maker?
  • How can we limit uncertainty for the decision maker?

Idea Generation

  • Structured Brainstorming
  • Virtual Brainstorming
  • Nominal Group Technique
  • Starbursting
  • Cross-Impact Matrix
  • Morphological Analysis
  • Quadrant Crunching

Hypothesis generation and testing

  • Multiple Hypotheses Generator
  • Quadrant Hypothesis Generation
  • Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Analysis of Competing Hypotheses
  • Argument Mapping
  • Deception Detection
  • Rumour Analysis

Challenge Analysis

  • Premortem Analysis
  • Structured Self-Critique
  • What If? Analysis
  • High Impact/Low Probability Analysis
  • Devil’s Advocacy
  • Red Team Analysis
  • Delphi Method

Competitive Analysis

  • Benchmarking
  • BCG Growth Matrix
  • Competitive Positioning
  • Customer Segmentation and needs Analysis
  • Customer Value Analysis
  • GE Business Screen
  • Porter Five Forces (Industry Analysis)
  • Nine Forces (Industry Analysis)
  • Strategic Group Analysis

Enterprise Analysis

  • Blindspot Analysis
  • Secondly, Business Model Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Functional Capability and Resource Analysis
  • Management Profiling
  • McKinsey 7s Analysis
  • Product Line Analysis
  • Servo Analysis
  • Shadowing
  • Supply Chain Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Value Chain Analysis
  • Win / Loss Analysis

Environmental Analysis

Then there is environment analysis using tools and techniques like:

  • Country Risk Analysis
  • Corporate Reputation Analysis
  • Critical Success Factor Analysis
  • Driving Force Analysis
  • Issue Analysis
  • STEEP (STEP) Analysis – STEEP stands for Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political
  • Political and Country Risk Analysis
  • Scenario Analysis, including:
    • Alternative Futures Analysis
    • Multiple Scenario Generation Indicators
    • As well as, Indicator Validators
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Strategic Relationship Analysis

Evolutionary Analysis

  • Event and Time Line Analysis
  • Experience Curve Analysis
  • Growth Vector Analysis
  • Historiographical Analysis
  • Indications and Warning Analysis
  • Patent Analysis
  • Product Life Cycle Analysis
  • S-Curve Analysis (Technology Life Cycle)
  • Technology Forecasting
  • War Gaming

Financial Analysis

  • Competitor Cash Flow Analysis
  • Financial Ratio and Statement Analysis (inc. Disaggregated Financial Ratio Analysis)
  • Interpretation of Statistical Analysis
  • Linchpin Analysis
  • Strategic Funds Programming
  • Sustainable Growth Rate Analysis

Cause and effect assessment

  • Key Assumptions Check
  • Structured Analogies
  • Role-Playing
  • Red Hat Analysis
  • Outside-In Thinking

Conflict management

  • Adversarial Collaboration
  • Structured Debate

Making a decision

  • Decision Trees
  • Complexity Manager
  • Decision Matrix
  • Force Field Analysis
  • Pros-Cons-Faults-and-Fixes
  • And, of course, SWOT Analysis

  Finally, information sources for this page includes the excellent book entitled Structured Analytical Techniques for Intelligence analysis by Richards J Heuer JR and also Randolph H Person. And, of course the definitive Business and Competitive Analysis by the excellent Babette Bensoussan and Craig S. Fleisher.

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